The Missing Chapter | 3
In 2009, the woman got a phone call from a very wealthy property investor friend. Yes, it was "A" on the line.
"Something weird is going on, something that may affect your business too. We have just had 18 mortgages that had been approved, withdrawn, on the same day. This may be the start of something big and nasty and you need to get ready..."
But the woman didn't know what that meant, what to do, how to protect her business.
In January 2010, the axe fell.
After their first ever unsuccessful promotion and launch for the New Year, her partner told her they would have to close the business. In one short month, this woman lost her business, her home, her car and all her possessions. She was, by now, amicable divorced and her beloved children had to go and live with their Dad, as she couldn't keep a roof over her head.
She also owed a large sum of money to the tax office because the previous year had been the best ever year in business and they had paid themselves a salary but re-invested most of their profits back into the business.
Now she had nothing left. Her confidence was shattered and she felt responsible for not seeing it coming, for not managing the money better - business and personal - and for not being able to turn things around more quickly.
She was nearly 50 now and while she applied for jobs, from lowly admin and secretarial jobs through to marketing jobs, she was totally unsuccessful at even getting an interview. Even applying to work at places like Tescos was impossible with a 12 page application form asking completely unintelligible questions!
As one of her more enlightened employers had put it "Most people are scared to hire entrepreneurial types as they think they won't stay long, not realising you get more out of those people in a year, than you do in 10 years from an employee type!". True but not helpful when you are an entrepreneur who is totally skint, though!
After a few months dodging from sofa to sofa, she rented a room at one of her sister's flats and began the slow rebuild of her life.
Because the one thing she had been passionate about - teaching people about wealth creation - was not an option now, with the economic climate making everyone hunker down and pull their belts in, she determined to share her online marketing skills with local business owners. She joined the local Chamber of Commerce offering social media and digital marketing workshops. People came but they didn't buy her services, she couldn't give her expertise away locally, no-one was buying. However, the Chamber did ask her to sit on their website committee and she joined a Peer Mentoring group which enabled her to some cool people who are friends still.
In January 2011, in a desperate bid to become successful again, she started three self-care practices that were recommended by the most successful people she knew. She wasn't sure about them at first, but they cheered her up so she felt that this had to be "a good thing". She didn't know it then, that these three practices would form the solid bedrock of everything that was to come later.
She also started a podcast, interviewing every successful person she knew, asking them for the story of their journey, plus three biggest tips around their Mindset, Marketing & Money they would like to have shared with their younger selves.
By September 2011, things were improving and she was limping along with a few internet marketing mentoring clients. She rented one of her sister's other properties, after the current tenant moved out. While she didn't feel ready financially, she determined to make it work.
It was a lovely little cottage and while still too small to have her children back to live with her, they were just around the corner with their Dad, so she saw them a lot. Her confidence was still shot to pieces and slowly and painfully the Inland Revenue were making her bankrupt, in spite of her attempting to pay them installments.
In April 2012 a very successful businessman and friend of hers came over from Australia and took her for lunch. He asked her what she thought would be the next big thing and when she said "done for you marketing agencies like Gary Vaynerchuk's VaynerMedia, he agreed and said "Wanna go into business? You can run the UK and I'll run the Oz office!"
The business went from strength to strength, with the team developing marketing systems to attract clients that they then replicated for their clients and suddenly she was earning decent money again. However she struggled to work 'for' someone and the pair amicably went their separate ways. She felt much more confident now however and realised she had to aim higher than local businesses, at SME's with a marketing budget!
By now she had trained extensively in how to use Facebook Ads and influenced by the book "7 Day Startup" by Dan Norris, about "productized services" she opened a boutique Facebook Ads agency. This, too, grew fast and she was earning well again.
Trips to the USA and Australia followed, to network and attract global clients but she was only just home from one of these trips for just 5 days, still jet lagged, when...